Gardaí keeping close eye on far-right activist Tommy Robinson after he’s seen meeting with convicted Ballyfermot criminal
Founder of English Defence League, who has several convictions, is visiting Dublin and has been pictured with a criminal from Ballyfermot
Gardaí will maintain a “watching brief” on the presence of a prominent far-right figurehead ahead of a refugee solidarity rally over the weekend.
Tommy Robinson (40), whose real name is Stephen Yaxley Lennon, recently said he has been drawn to Ireland by anti-immigration protests and praised those who have organised them.
It’s believed he travelled to Dublin on Wednesday and has spent time meeting with people in different parts of the city.
In a message on his Telegram page, Robinson said that he is here to “ask questions and put together a piece, to show what’s happening”.
He also denied he was invited here and that he travelled to Dublin as a journalist to “go where the news is”.
Far-right agitators here have been embracing Robinson’s planned visit in recent days
Gardaí had been aware that he travelled to the capital and will monitor his presence at any protests both in Dublin and other parts of the country.
This will include any involvement in anti-immigration protests, or potential counter-demonstrations at the “Ireland for All” rally tomorrow afternoon.
The organisers of that event say they are aiming to mobilise against “the division of the far right” following recent protests across the country on the issues of refugees and asylum seekers.
There are concerns that the presence of a high-profile campaigner like Robinson could inflame matters.
Members of the garda public order unit will be on duty in Dublin over the weekend for the protest as is standard with a potential large gathering of people in the city centre.
It’s understood that, while these are part of standard patrols, units will be on duty earlier than usual with the protest due to get underway at 1.30pm. Gardaí are also aware of an image of Robinson posing with a convicted criminal from the Ballyfermot area believed to be taken following his arrival here.
One source said: “The individual hasn’t come to adverse garda attention recently, but is believed to be involved at a local level in voicing anti-immigration concerns. As for Robinson, gardaí will be keeping a watching brief on him if he shows up at any protests.”
The site has been used to announce his presence in Dublin, but also to share anti-immigration and anti-vaccine stories
Far-right agitators here have been embracing Robinson’s planned visit in recent days.
One prominent campaigner Dee Wall, who has also been heavily involved in anti-vaccination demonstrations, said this week that she would give Robinson “100 blessings to come here”.
However, Robinson’s presence here has been greeted with mixed reaction among anti-refugee campaigners, with some pointing out that he is a loyalist.
A founder of the English Defence League, an Islamophobic organisation, he has been banned from most major social media platforms but has over 150,000 subscribers on his Telegram account.
The site has been used to announce his presence in Dublin, but also to share anti-immigration and anti-vaccine stories.
In 2019, Facebook announced it was banning Robinson for “dehumanising language and calls for violence targeted at Muslims”.
He also has a number of previous convictions for assault, drug possession and fraud.
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